"Sam's got the intellect necessary to bring a lot of class to that court."
-George W. Bush
Washington D.C., January 9th, 2005
I heard President Bush's statement, made to the media this morning regarding the Senate Confirmation hearings which began today for Judge Sam Alito, and frankly I am a bit confused. Well, take for example the quote I chose to accompany this entry. "Sam's got the intellect necessary to bring a lot of class to that court." Class? Is he inferring that the Supreme Court is currently without class? Of course he might also be saying that he will bring additional class to the court or that maybe a government entity, such as the Supreme Court can never be too classy. Hmmm...
Maybe it was another case of George being George, but what may have once been an endearing characteristic of our "common man" president, now seems to be a little less endearing and a little more, well, worrisome. President Bush is testing the patience of an increasingly impatient American people. True, his general poll numbers did rise in mid-December after an all time low, but it is not uncommon for a President's numbers to climb around the Christmas holiday. So,here we are, fresh into a new year, and it is the all important 6th year of the Bush White House, and it's time for him to make some changes, if he wants to leave office as anything other then a complete failure to the American people.
Does that mean that now more then ever he will be catering to the religious right? Is Judge Alito part of the agenda to not lose his solid base vote? I don't know. I know that when Bush's other choice for a Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Myers, was announced, the decision seemed to be the first thing that both Democrats and Republicans agreed on, albeit for different reasons, she was just plain bad for America. I watched in awe, and truthfully a bit of compassion, as she had her character killed a little at a time over several days. It was a painful thing to watch anyone go through. All the hubbub was based on the speculation that things would not go one way or the other, even before the questions were asked in a public forum. I think I might have at least liked to have heard her answers to the same questions facing Judge Alito, before deciding what kind of justice she would have made.
I don't like the first instinct I have at the moment, which is to suspect anyone who would be nominated by President Bush. But then again, look at what he has given us in the way of appointments. A long string of underqualified individuals for government positions. Anyone remember his appointing John Bolton to the position of U.N. Ambassador? A man who had previously stated that the U. N. was of very little worth. "There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the U.N. secretary building in N.Y. lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a difference." Sigh. Just yesterday morning Bush again appointed an individual who has come under scrutiny as being considered underqualified. Julie Meyers will now be the head of the Department of Immigration. Previously Ms. Meyers was assistant secretary for the Department of Commerce and more recently served as the president's special assistant for personnel. I guess what I find disturbing about both of these appointments is that in both cases President Bush has chosen to bypass senate confirmation hearings and used his power of recess to appoint them.
Now other presidents have also used this ability to make appointments, but with the level of arrogance and what seems like misuse of authority of this administration it all seems a little frustrating that we apparently have a man in office who feels that as the president, he is really accountable to no one. Is this true? No, of course not, and yet here we sit with the disturbing fact that we have a president who engages in illegal wiretapping...he knew warrants needed to be issued...he knew it wasn't just a few isolated cases...and yet still insists that it was within his authority under the issue of the Patriot Act. However, in a report released last Friday, by the Congressional Research Service, a bipartisan research group of Congress, President Bush did not have congressional authority to order the wiretaps by the NSA. But he did it anyway.
We will see how that plays out over the next few months as more inquiries are made, but I think you see the trend. Bad decisions are being made on behalf of you and I whether we voted for the Bush Administration or not. And now we have a man, who could very well be appointed to the Supreme Court who may or may not be trusted with the serious issues that will affect all of us to one degree or another. If you can't believe in the leaders of your country, who can one believe in anymore? Tell me what you think, do you have confidence in Judge Sam Alito? Was Harriet Miers given a fair shake? Do you think more bad choices are on the way? And with each new scandal, do you feel a tug to educate yourself about politics by keeping current with what is happening that affects you on both a local or a national level? This being an election year, will you become more involved?
U.C. Berkeley campus
November 24th, 2005
My 2017 Reading List
1 year ago